Hey everyone. Thankfully I’ve written the bulk of today’s post last week but I’ve had a really bad migraine attack yesterday and my head still hurts so if it feels haphazard overall, I apologize. I’ll get straight to the point.
Kazutomo Ichitomo is the artist and author behind Handyman Saitou in Another World, and the adaptation is handled by C2C. It’s a studio I haven’t seen much from, but the ones I’ve watched before or partially know through Anitwt were visually satisfying.
Did I know this series beforehand? I’ve seen the manga on my timeline but haven’t read it.
What is it about? Saitou was a handyman in his previous life and nothing much seemed to change when he was transmigrated to a fantasy world with magic, orcs, and fairies. He’s a member of a party with a warrior, a mage, and a fairy and he mainly helps them open locks, fix armor or clothes, and just whatever he’s been doing previously.
What to look out for? Blood.
What do I think? This season is dead set on forcing me into submission and enjoying isekai, huh…
I have to say, it’s kind of working. And I loved Handyman Saitou in Another World for a couple of reasons.
One thing that worked for me was how laid-back the cast was. The party looked like it was thrown together last minute just because and I really appreciated that “Welp, we’re doing it together, I guess,” air to them, instead of the party being formed of individuals with a high drive to win or level up. I personally don’t need a major reason or deep backstory or explanation behind a group coming together. Each of them feels down-to-earth, with funny quirks that hopefully will stay as quirks and not become their whole personality later down the road.
The second would be the clothes/armor of the characters. I appreciated seeing Raelza in a more practical armor that can actually protect her instead of the usual fanservice-y version. I do think that fantasy anime could bring more variety in terms of their physical build or fictional race instead of saving that kind of variety for enemies and keeping the main characters as close to humans as possible. Still, having an elderly mage with forgetfulness and back problems among the group was cute.
Above anything else, though, what won my heart is Saitou, his position in the story, and what he got out of this transmigration. It’s not heaps of money or hoards of women. Not majestic titles, incredible skills, or talent to “finally show others who the real Saitou is”. It’s not even a “cooler” job because he wasn’t respected for doing “menial” tasks or because that one woman refused to pay Saitou the price for his service since picking the lock took nothing more than seconds.
It was fulfillment. And feeling that what he’s capable of doing is needed by others. The skills he worked to hone contributing to the group. When I tell you I teared up at the end of the episode! Being a part of a system that works together and creates something that has a worth instead of being a mindless clog.
It also reminded me of one of my all-time favorite parts from Jujutsu Kaisen. No surprise it’s the scene Nanami visits the bakery, where he talks about what matters to people and how it’s “rewarded” in return.
Will I continue watching? I definitely will. Really love the overall tone of the first episode and the warmth I felt. I think it would be better if others go into this series expecting more slice-of-life than action or fantasy. At least that’s the first impression I got.
Have you read or watched Handyman Saitou in Another World? Any points you’d like to add that I forgot mentioning in the post or overlooked? Let me know! See you tomorrow with another first impression and take care ~
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